How to make your trip to Valencia Smarter
For Valencia, it's not enough to have been named European Capital of Smart Tourism 2022. In reality, this is simply an acknowledgement of the continuing effort to make the city more accessible and sustainable, and to improve the experience of tourists and residents alike through the effective and creative use of new technologies. But innovation never ends. Valencia is getting smarter and smarter!
There are so many smart initiatives that are already being implemented in the city that those who visit it can easily experience several of them and engage in smart tourism almost without realizing it. Here are a few examples:
Filtered water fountains
Thirsty? It's important to stay hydrated when you're touring the city, especially in the summer months. Instead of buying another water bottle, you can refill your own container with filtered and chilled tap water at one of the 18 PUSDAR fountains installed by the city.
More bike routes
The most sustainable way to visit the city is on foot or by bike, and there are more guided tours than ever to choose from. Why not ride out to the Albufera? The new Easy Albufera Bike & Boat tour makes it simple, and it includes a boat ride through this wonderful natural setting.
Smart pedestrian crossings
Walking around in the city is also getting safer. In the Marina, the first smart pedestrian crossings have already been installed, outfitted with sensors and LEDs that light up as soon as a pedestrian approaches, to inform any approaching drivers.
More sustainable buses
If you don't feel like walking, you can move around the city on the fleet of hybrid city buses, which have already reduced the fleet's carbon footprint by 22%. Soon, twenty new 100% electric vehicles will be added, with zero CO2 emissions.
More accessible transportation
Have you noticed the new shelters that are being installed in bus stops throughout the city? Not only do they have a more modern design, but they feature Navilens technology to guide the visually impaired, as well as Braille plaques. Some also offer access to Wi-Fi and USB ports to charge a phone.
Free, high-speed public Wi-Fi
There are more than 400 free, high-speed public Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the city. The network, part of the European Union's WiFi4EU programme, offers 30 megabytes of speed at each point and is available in squares, gardens, beaches, museums and municipal buildings.
Take advantage of the free connection points to send your best photos of your visit to Valencia from emblematic places such as the Lonja, the Town Hall Square, the Malvarrosa beach or the Viveros Gardens. And don't forget to share them with the hashtag #VisitValencia!
100% green urban furniture
The next time you go to the beach or Marina, you may be able to sit back and relax in one of the new structures made of rice husk, recycled materials and Posidonia leaves brought in by the tide. This urban furniture is durable and sustainable, with a design inspired by ceramic mosaics and ocean waves.
But that's not all. There are other innovations that are perhaps not as obvious, but that are also making Valencia a leader in smart projects. The Port of Valencia is the first in Europe to use hydrogen in its machinery to reduce the environmental impact, for example. The Marina has smart supply and mooring points, which allow users to track their vessel's consumption from an app on their smartphone. And coastal lookouts make sure that no ship anchors in the underwater Posidonia meadows - vital to combating climate change - and damages them.
Want more? The next time you take a dip in the sea or glide over the waves on a surfboard or jet ski in Valencia, keep in mind that those same waves are already being used to generate green energy. This is what the new Wave Energy Converter does, a device installed at the outlet of the Marina canal.
And while you're enjoying the typical dishes, remember that Valencians also prepare them at home responsibly. To avoid polluting the water, used cooking oil can be deposited in recycling containers distributed throughout the city, which are now equipped with sensors to more efficiently manage the pick-up service. If you're staying in a tourist apartment and you're cooking with oil, don't forget to recycle it!
Being smart is much more than just a label. In Valencia, it's a reality you can see and enjoy in a thousand ways, wherever you go. Are you in?